Is it legal to fire someone for making too much money?

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Is it legal to fire someone for making too much money?

I was recently fired from my position as an assistant manger at a retail food chain after 16 1/2 years of service. It was bought by a franchise just 8 weeks ago. I’ve never been spoken to about any type of job performance, attendance, or other issues. I was told by my supervisor on a Thursday evening that the company was going to let me go the following Tuesday. In an attempt to save my job, I contacted one of the owners and set up meeting the following day at noon to discuss my job and options, hoping to come to a compromise. The owners didn’t show up and instead sent HR to fire me. Only because I made too much money.

Asked on August 31, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, this is legal. Maybe not fair, but legal. The reason is that most employment arrangements are what is known as "at will". This means that you can choose to work for an employer or no,t and an employer can hire or fire you for any reason or no reason at all. The exceptions to this would be if this action was not allowed by virtue of a union agreement, employment contract, or an official stated company policy.  Also, discrimination must not be a factor in your termination.  Absent any of these circumstance your firing was lawful.


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